Why don't climate change deniers publish?

The basic counter-argument is that none of this is proved and that it’s just good money after bad. I personally don’t buy that hogwash, all the mitigation programs I’ve seen look to be right, good, and we should pursue them regardless of man-made global warming. It is a cash cow, but no way would a scientific journal risk their credibility for some useless conspiracy … let the science speak for itself.

It’s not complicated. Vanity journals will publish anything. Legitimate journals publish based in general on two criteria: research relevance, and quality. “Quality” is a fairly objective set of criteria and is based on the use of accepted scientific methodologies and an assessment of the quality of the data. Denialist papers tend to be sorely lacking in either methodological rigor or data quality, and often both.

Any legitimate journal would love to publish a good solid paper in its relevant area of research that challenges accepted scientific opinion, and indeed they often do, though mostly in specific areas that most of us would regard as technical minutiae. A paper that presumes to challenge really fundamental established conclusions – like the role of AGW in 20th century warming – would be expected to meet a correspondingly high burden of proof for its claims. Such has not been forthcoming, and the truth is that even most denialists tend to exhibit a sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde persona, poking away at relatively obscure areas in the published journals, and turn into ranting frothing-at-the-mouth Mr. Hydes when they pontificate on their denialist blogs or guest-star in those of others. I have often seen a perfectly legitimate paper published by a marginal denialist, who then proceeds to offer a complete distortion of it in his blogs, saying things that he would never dream of saying under the scrutiny of peer review.

I’m confused. Is the cash cow mitigation, or the publication of papers? Who is saying that climate change will end life on earth, or even human life?

No, the counter-argument would be that if a climatologist decides to be in it for the money, there’s a lot more to be had on the denial-side.

There really is no counter argument. If one believes that CC/AGW is a conspiracy by the scientific establishment then any data supporting CC/AGW can be waived away as part of the conspiracy.

The cash cow is research funding, 999 out of 1,000 published papers about climate are about man-made global warming. I’d take that position if I was a Climatologist with student loans.

Does it matter who says that, simply refusing to believe it makes me a climate change denier. Remember, I think global warming is a good thing … I don’t know why I should be rejected and condemned for that.

… and Big Oil has deep pockets.

Actually, a prominent, lettered scientist published an analysis in a respected publication that amounted to denialism. The net result was that the analysis was found to be deeply flawed, the editor was deeply embarrassed for not having properly vetted the material, to the extent that he resigned tail-between-his-legs. Lamentably, the damage was done, the anti-warming crowd latched onto this piece of substantiation and waved it furiously in triumph.

The scientist in question was, of course, Dr. Roy Spencer, his source was from NASA satellites he was overseeing as part of his position (after all, are you saying NASA data is wrong ???), the publication was called Remote Sensing. Spencer has continued to erode the shreds of his credibility by taking up the banner of creationism.

Just as a side note, Spencer is quite honest about the fact that he is politically motivated and is hell-bent on ensuring that the evil gubbermint is never empowered to regulate emissions. Aside from the pseudo-scientific ranting on his blog and the occasional bad paper in low-grade journals, he barely even pretends to be a serious scientist.

You are obviously not aware that as part of their initiation into the Great Global Conspiracy Club™, where climate scientists learn the Secret Handshake and receive their Secret Decoder Rings, they also get the right to publish whatever they like in the scientific journals. Those who are not part of the club are locked out. Thus, there are many good hard-working scientists with conclusive evidence that CO2 has no effect whatsover on climate, and that global warming is caused by space aliens from the planet Gazoomba, who simply cannot get their work published and are ruthlessly censored and suppressed. Fortunately, they can get the word out on Internet blogs and late-night talk radio.

And for those who want into those pockets, it’s a seller’s market. There are very few credentialed climatologists willing to espouse any form of denialism.

Very few credentialed climatologists would bite the hand that feeds them either. Why in God’s Name would Big Oil publish their findings? They might be way ahead of the pack laying in their bribes years before the information becomes public. That’s certainly what I would do if I was Big Oil.

What is “credentialed climatologists”?

Well, contrary to popular belief, some ‘climate change deniers’ actually do get published.

For example, Judith Curry, who is considered a denier, has a ton of published, peer-reviewed papers.

Linkto papers.

Linkto her CV.

Linkto her blog, Climate Etc.

So, your intial thesis is flawed.

And before Gigo comes in claiming Curry isn’t a real scientist or something similar, the U.S. government apparently thinks enough of her to have her testify in upcoming hearings on the Presidents Climate Action Plan. Link.

Additionally, Curry who is a real climate scientist and not just someone who plays one on the 'Dope had this to say about ‘deniers’ and publishing:


John Christy is another ‘denier’ who publishes. Link to papers. He is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Additionally, he was a lead author on IPCC 2001. Here is a linkto his testamony to congress. Warning, pdf.

Or there is Petr Chylek, a researcher for Space and Remote Sensing Sciences at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Linkto his wiki.

More importantly, a link to an open letter he wrote about the climate science community. Link.

A quote from that letter:

For a list of sceptical scientist who publish, just check this out. Link.

Now, apparently, those who do not agree 100% with the catastophic AGW line need to be singled out.

There are more out there. However, contrary to what Gigo says, there is pressure within the climate science community to toe the party line.

I highly suggest reading Curry’s site, Climate Etc. Another site, though Gigo’s head will probably explode if I meantion it, is Watts Up With That.

Contrary to what some climate scientist scream at the world, the science is much more complicated than the models they rely on and it certainly isn’t settled.


I was thinking of those with Ph.D.s in climatology.

I’m going to respond to more than just the above, but I quote it as a reference to what I’m responding to, so let’s start with Curry.

Judith Curry is someone that I’m quite familiar with. Yes, Judith Curry is a “real” scientist – or at least, she used to be – but is now doing her field a considerable disservice in her ranting blogs. If you actually look critically at her publications, she hasn’t published anything since 2011, and lists only one paper there that was actually published (look at the details). Curry is the worst kind of hypocrite – someone who accuses an entire scientific field of lacking balance and objectivity, and then spews forth intentionally deceptive, self-serving bullshit on her personal blog, ostensibly in the name of objective balance. Ray Ladbury, a physicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with a background in science education and science journalism, had a great comment about Curry that perfectly sums up my own feelings:

There are actually better examples of denialists who publish – possibly the best of them is Richard Lindzen – but as I said earlier, when they do so it is a kind of Jekyll and Hyde persona – their published papers are generally legitimate and not even particularly controversial – Lindzen mostly does atmospheric physics – but then they use their acquired reputations to rant in public op-eds and blogs about issues that are unsupported by any research of theirs or anyone else’s.

But Curry is a disgrace to her profession; whether she has turned to blogging for fame or profit or the onset of dementia I can’t tell, but her antics have been well discredited here and here and here, just for starters. Curry’s antics have even caught the attention of Sourcewatch, and Scientific American published an article about her that I thought was much too kind, but nevertheless lays out many of the problems with her positions. Kind of reminds me of the old saying that, for a publicity whore at least, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

The reasons for all the attention are not hard to understand. She is the darling of WUWT and Watts’ gang of denialists; she’s teamed up with blatant denialists like McIntyre, Pat Michaels, and many others; she’s been courted and quoted by aides to the lunatic senator Inhofe; she’s been quoted and interviewed on denialist sites like Friends of Science and SPPI, the latter I believe slaveringly quoting from an interview with her published in a fine scientific journal called “Oilprice.com”, in which she asserts, among other things, that the IPCC is useless and that any possible attribution of climate change to CO2 is unknown, assertions with which the fine scientific journal Oilprice.com enthusiastically agreed.

You also mention John Christy, and he’s not much better. He’s an associate of the complete crackpot Roy Spencer, and the two of them frequently work together…

As for your link to “denialist climate scientists who publish”, I count 7 actually listed as climate scientists, about a dozen more in somewhat allied fields. The IPCC had almost 1000 of the world’s foremost climate scientists contributing to the AR5 alone, out of tens of thousands of qualified climate scientists in the world. What percentage are the avowed denialists? A fraction of a percent, it would appear. Actually, considering the money to be made from the massive disinformation campaign that has been underway for more than 15 years, I’m really surprised the number is that low. We can perhaps take heart that there is more integrity in science than in most fields.

Oh like this one?:

I have seen Curry throw a lot of bones to the contrarians but she does not put those bones where it counts, most likely because the data does not lie to her. Same goes for Christie, after he had to admit that most of what he claimed in the past was based on mistakes from his satellite readings, and IIRC he was part of the group that reported that.

What this shows is that even the ones that “speak” against the grain are in reality concentrating in minimizing the effects of the warming caused by humans, but they can not deny thermometers, nor the physics of adding CO2 to the atmosphere.

So let me guess, a Google vomit from Whats up with that uh?

Right, so if climate scientists are so venal, why are they fighting over whatever limited amount of grants are offered by the NSF, NASA, etc., rather than taking the billions being spent to promote denialism?

Speaking of cooking graphs, I do remember why they call it Baked Curry. :slight_smile:


If you think scientists get rich on research funding, you’ve clearly never been within spitting distance of a graduate department.

If you want to get rich, you get speaking or consulting contracts with those companies who fear they will lose money if we do something about this, money which does not have to be budgeted and justified, and money the university doesn’t take a big piece out of.

I’ve never reviewed NSF grants for climate science, but I have for engineering and computer science, and if there was a big chunk of money for the PI in there it escaped me. So, let’s say your knowledge of this kind of stuff doesn’t impress me much.

As shown by the research by Curry herself you need to take it with her for using models too to confirm not only warming but explain more properly the apparent paradox of seeing more ice inland in Antarctica.

BTW sleestak, stop with the strawmenand the personification of this issue by somehow taking it on me. You need to take it on the ones that are misleading you, as **wolfpup **showed your list pointed at for sure by WUWT is the pits and the point of the OP is totally missed, the researcher looked at last year’s publications to see the scientific activity of climate change researchers, the catastrophic fall of new peer review papers telling us that AGW is not happening is not to be expected if one of the big mantras of the deniers was true, that there is a lot of evidence and research being found constantly to dismiss the issue.

In reality it is what even a guy like me that came from the third world can notice, virtually all the recent reports of that contrarian “evidence” is coming from bloglessors and even researchers that are going like creationists to the media for support and publication, and when they use published articles more often than not they are misrepresenting what the researchers actually report in their conclusions. (Sometimes they even misrepresent themselves).

IMHO what we are seeing is very similar to the final twitches of creationist researchers (funny that Spencer is one also) when confronting the sea of biology papers confirming evolution. They then Publish books (or publish blogs) and skip peer review.